The International Conference on Swaminarayan Bhakti Literature was held on 26th December 2022 at Puramhu Swami Maharaj Nagar, Ahmedabad. Scholars, writers, poets and intellectuals discussed the significance of the literature produced by Swaminarayan Bhakti poets from the 18th century to the present day. The conference was organized by His BAPS Swaminarayan Institute in New Delhi in collaboration with Gujarat University in Ahmedabad to mark the 100th Anniversary of His Holiness Pramuk His Swami His Maharaj.
The Swaminarayan Tradition possesses a rich and diverse multilingual repository of prose and poetry. An in-depth study and analysis of the contributions of scholars, poets, musicians and literary figures provides deep insight into cultures, histories, religions, customs and traditions. This conference was organized to discuss the role of Bhagwan His Swaminarayan and his disciples, and the legacy of his Bhakti poet Swaminarayan enriching the legacy not only of Gujarat but of the entire literary world of South Asia. rice field.
Puja Viveksagardas Swami initiated the international conference on ‘Swaminarayanya Santo Sahitya’ by performing Deep Pragatya. A noted novelist, poet and critic, he is Professor Raghuvir Chaudhari. Shri Bhagyesh Jha, president of Gujarat Sahitya Academy. Padma Shri Kumarpal Desai, eminent author, journalist, critic and translator. Renowned poet and author Professor Madhav Ramanuj. He is Professor Balvantrai Jani, a prominent scholar of Gujarati literature. Professor Himanshu Pandya, Vice Chancellor of Gujarat University. Renowned poet and essayist Sri Anil Joshi. And prominent columnist and speaker Shri VS Gadhvi was one of the dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony.
In his inaugural address, Professor Himanshu Pandia, Vice Chancellor of Gujarat University, expressed his joy on behalf of Gujarat University in hosting this ‘historic conference’. He praised the “unique nature of Swaminarayan literature” for its simplicity and universality. In his inaugural address, Professor Raghuvir Chaudhari, author of over 80 books and winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award and his Jnanpith Award, emphasized Bhagwan his Swaminarayan teachings in the promotion of Gujarati literature. He also added, “Pramukh Swami promoted Gujarati through his speech at the Millennium World Peace Summit at the United Nations.” Pointing to the individual swamis of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, he mentioned their achievements in the fields of music, literature and community service. He added, “The elements of religion and spirituality introduced at the R20 summit [in Indonesia] Now constitutes a historic moment. ”
Renowned poet and Sahitia Akademi Award winner Sri Anil Joshi shared his memories of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He recounted how their encouragement to learn and recite poetry played an important role at a crucial juncture in his career.
In his keynote address, Sri Bagesh Jah, President of the Gujarat Sahitya Academy, elaborated on the literary works of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s notable disciples and emphasized their practical relevance. He added that Bhakti, spirituality and metaphysics harmoniously expressed through Swaminarayan Literature can be seen in Puramhu His Swami His Maharaj’s centenary celebrations. He further elaborates: Then you can feel the connection with the cosmic energies and bliss they experienced. The Brahmanand, Muktanand and Premanand poems are metaphysical commentaries that deepen our understanding of life and the universe. ”
Professor Balvantrai Jani, Rector of Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya Sagar, emphasized the role of Brahmanand Swami in Gujarati religious literature. He paid tribute to several genres of literature including biography, theory, lyricism and philosophy written by Brahmanand Swami. As a multilingual and multidimensional poet, Professor Jani argued that Brahmanand had the ability to create poetry in an instant. he said: Inspired by Sahajanand Swami, Brahmanand Swami fostered relationships with people of other religions, including the Muslim Nawab of Junagadh. ”
The first session concluded with Yogi Trivedi, former journalist for CNN and CBS and Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. He related an incident that prompted Pramukh Swami Maharaj to “study egoless literature and make scholarship accessible to the outside world”. He remembered how Pramukh Swami Maharaj advised him. Educate your mind, then educate others. At the end of the session, Yogi Trivedi’s new book In Love, At Ease: Everyday Spirituality with Pramukh Swami was celebrated and distributed to guests on stage.
Plenary and presentation sessions
The plenary session was opened by Shri Kumarpal Desai. In his speech, he emphasized “the need to evaluate the literary works of the Swaminarayan tradition from our own perspective.” He further states, “The works of these Bhakti poets are as meaningful as those of Narsingh, Mira and Surdas.” He further said that the literature of Swaminarayan’s Bhakti poets is a reflection of their inner selves, interwoven with messages of detachment and asceticism with messages of loving devotion.
Later, Professor Madhav Ramanuj, Editor of Akhand Anand and former Chairman of Gandharv Sangeet Vidyalaya Trust of Sahitya Parishad, Ahmedabad and Gujarat, presented a conference on “Sahajanand Swami and the Swaminarayan Sampradaya” held in New Delhi in 2013. talked about his experience. He shared fond memories of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and how Swami often invited him to various meetings and events.
Former Chief Information Commissioner of Gujarat, Sri Vasant Gadvi, emphasized Gandhi’s role in promoting the Bhakti literature of Mira and Narsimhameta. He equated Swaminarayan’s Bhakti literature with the “sacred stream of the Ganges” and his famous 19th-century poet Dalpattram in the development of Gujarati literature he noted the role of Travadi. He pointed out that Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s unique contribution lies not only in identifying social concerns, but in helping to resolve them. He concluded by saying, “Swaminarayan’s intelligence and Bhakti tradition will herald a new era in literature and inspire all mankind.”
In the closing remarks of the session, Mahhamahopadhya Badreshdas Swami emphasized the brevity and accessibility of Swaminarayan’s poetic bhakti literature. he said: Words in literature are the embodiment of experienced emotions. Poets are not just trained, they are essentially born through their own trials and tribulations. He further stressed that traditional music associated with historical works of poetry must be preserved.
paper presentation session
The session was moderated by Pratapsingh Dabhi, a popular Gujarati poet. In this session Dr. Prativa Dave emphasized how spiritual wealth is more important than material wealth in Nishkranand Swami’s poetry. Shri Pragna Patel, an accomplished writer, then placed the literature of Swaminarayan’s Bhakti poet in its socio-historical context, emphasizing its role in shaping contemporary theological thought and practice. Dr. Ashwin Andani, Head of the Gujarati Language Department at his DCM College in Vilamgam, described the element of humor in Swaminarayan literature. Professor Sanjay Chaudhary, Dean of Ahmedabad University, Ahmedabad, traces the complementary role of Vicharan and literature in spreading moral values throughout society from the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan to Pramukh Swami Maharaj. I was. Dr. Nisarg Ahir, Associate Professor, Gujarat Faculty, Gujarat College of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad, said the uniqueness of Swaminarayaniya Sant literature lies in the fact that the subjects of their devotion live and exist with them. emphasized. Dr. Darshana Oza, Head of Gujarati Language Department at SNDT University, emphasized the similarities between Mirabai and ‘Premusaki’ Premanand bhakti verses. Sarkari Vinayan, Gandhinagar, Associate Professor in the Department of Gujarati Languages at his College, Dr. Purvioza, emphasizes the role of Muktanand Swami and Brahmanand Her Swami in rethinking the female dharma of the early 19th century. did. Mostly ignored. Dr. Nyati Anthani, Assistant Professor, Department of Gujarati Languages, Gujarat College of Arts and Sciences, Ahmedabad, has analyzed and appreciated the prosodic qualities of rudimentary Paramahan poets like Brahmanand Swami.
In a parallel session chaired by Hasyada Pandya, Dr. KM Chavda, Associate Professor, Faculty of Sanskrit, Gujarat University of Arts and Sciences, presented on the importance of simplicity and unique moral qualities of Swaminarayan literature such as Swamini Vato. Antit Jain, a researcher at the University of Delhi, explains how the version of the Sanskrit commentary produced by Swaminarayan Sampradaya must be read in the context of the historical needs of the community and the changing socio-historical climate. explained what Sri Sarju Patel, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, explained the importance of reading the text transcripts of Gopalanand Swami’s sermons in establishing Gunatitanand Swami as an Akshal Brahman. Dr. Iva Patel, an assistant professor at the University of Augsburg, focused on Nishkranand Swami’s Dhiraj Akyan, which she argued was a text celebrating devotion along with ascetic ideals. She then elaborated on how the text demonstrates trust in God, emphasizes faith in God, and expresses a desire to experience the joy of devotion.Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara Sri Jayesh Acharya, a graduate student at Baroda College, presented the Vachanamrut, the recorded teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He demonstrated in texts the openness of discussion and accessibility to spiritual debates.Finally, his Shri Kirtan Patel, a graduate student at the University of Texas, explored the literature of the Saadhus and his disciples of Shastriji Maharaj. Focused on works.These poets used Bhakti poetry as a medium to commemorate events, record history and celebrate major events.
In the final session, Dr. Shrutiprakashdas Swami discussed the importance of the recently published Sanskrit text Akshar Purushottam Mahatmya, which aims to historically record the authenticity of Akshar and Purushottam theology. I explained in detail. Swami then emphasized the rigorous cross-checking of references required to edit the text. He also noted the enthusiastic involvement of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the writing process. Later, Srivasantgadvi emphasized the lyrical nature of Brahmanand his Swami’s poetic works. “These works were well received by musicians and audiences for their quality,” he said. He also pointed out how the conference played an important role in appreciating the underappreciated role of Swaminarayan literature in enhancing the beauty and richness of Gujarati literature. He concluded by saying that Swaminarayan literature has played a role in connecting diverse individuals, communities, cultures and religions. Dr. Balvantrai Jani gave his final speech on how the Gujarati language was preserved through the creation of Vachanamrut. he said: The true significance of this literature lies in its ability to sanctify the hearts and minds of its followers. Finally, Dr. Jyothindra Dave thanked Aksharvatsardas Swami, Shrutiprakashdas Swami, Badreshdas Swami and other Swami for organizing this meeting. did.